Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 29, 2011

VA Governor signs child sex abuse reform bill: SNAP responds

Statement by Becky Ianni, Virginia SNAP Director, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 703-801-6044, [email protected])

We are grateful that Virginia’s Governor understands that helping victims of child sex abuse expose sexual predators and their enablers will make kids safer.

We applaud Senator Quayle and Delegate Albo, who sponsored this legislation, and all those legislators who stood up and spoke out in support of this important bill which will help deter those who commit and conceal child sex crimes. We hope this legislation will be the first step in reforming other predator-friendly laws.

A word to those who ignore or conceal child sex crimes in Virginia: Change your ways! It's getting harder and harder to keep child sex crimes under wraps.

We are sad that the Virginia's Catholic bishops opposed this much needed reform but appreciate the courageous victims and compassionate lawmakers who supported it.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])

McDonnell signs sex abuse lawsuit extension bill

Associated Press - March 28, 2011 3:35 PM ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Victims of sexual abuse now have 10 times longer to file a lawsuit in Virginia.

Gov. Bob McDonnell signed legislation Saturday extending the deadline to file a civil lawsuit against an attacker or an organization responsible for the assault from two years to 20 years.

The Catholic Church, which faced a priest sex scandal that triggered lawsuits nationwide, lobbied hard against the extension. Advocates had worried McDonnell, a Catholic, would change the bill.

There is no time limit to file criminal charges against an attacker.

In emotional testimony, victims of child sexual abuse persuaded lawmakers that two years often wasn't enough time to file civil lawsuits. The time begins either when the victim turns 18 or, in the case of repressed memories, when he or she recalls the abuse.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests